Kathleen O'Toole

Latest Articles


Does Boston hate the BPD?

When Kathleen O’Toole served as Boston police commissioner, from early 2004 through mid 2006, she and Mayor Thomas Menino seemed in constant denial of the spiraling violence and shocking police scandals that were roiling the city.
A secret survey shows just how low the Boston Police Department’s reputation had sunk two years ago. Is the mayor listening?
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  July 16, 2008


The Boston Phoenix has uncovered substantial new information about the Cowans case.
The Boston Police investigation of Stephan Cowans led to a wrongful conviction. Was it incompetent — or corrupt?
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  February 07, 2008

Righting a staggering wrong

US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan should launch an investigation into how that department managed to help convict the wrong man in the 1997 shooting of a Boston cop.
It is time for the US Attorney to investigate how and why the Boston police wrongfully convicted Stephan Cowans
By EDITORIAL  |  February 06, 2008

Pastor Bruce Wall mulls city-council bid

One of the most outspoken religious leaders of Boston’s black community, Pastor Bruce H. Wall, is considering a campaign for the 13-member Boston City Council.
Team Disunity?
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  March 14, 2007

Commissioner Davis is already playing the blame game

It didn’t take long for Boston’s new police commissioner to toe the “blame the citizenry” line concerning the department’s dismal homicide-arrest rate.
Gun violence
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 03, 2007

Five keys for BPD’s new top cop

Edward Davis was always the obvious choice for Mayor Tom Menino’s next police commissioner.
Ed Davis
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  October 26, 2006


Shades of Keeler

The storied career of Sergeant Detective Daniel M. “Mr. Homicide” Keeler may finally be at an end.
For years, Daniel Keeler was the top detective in Boston. Now, a pair of sunglasses Threatens to end his career.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  September 13, 2006

City Hall brain drain

The city of Boston is running on empty.
Never star-studded, Mayor Menino’s executive team continues to shrink
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  September 05, 2006

Truth, Justice — or the Boston Way

Stephan Cowans's wrongful conviction cost Boston taxpayers $3.2 million.
Boston’s taxpayers just coughed up another multimillion-dollar check for a wrongful conviction, without being told what was done wrong
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  August 17, 2006

Top-cop shopping

It’s been three months since former commissioner Kathleen O’Toole announced she was leaving the Boston Police Department, and only one bit of information has been confirmed: Mayor Thomas Menino isn’t making the mistake of rushing to name her replacement.
Has Menino already decided on the next police commissioner? And if so, why won’t he name him or her till November?
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  August 15, 2006

Citizen arrest

When it comes to violent crime, Boston Mayor Tom Menino has some advice for his constituents: trust the police and help them do their jobs.
As we brace for a bloody summer, the Mayor misses two opportunities to build trust between the city and its police
By ADAM REILLY  |  June 24, 2006


Alternative victory

Each year, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies holds an editorial contest among its 120-some member papers and announces the winners at the organization’s annual convention; this year the Boston Phoenix took home two prizes.
Good for us
By CLIF GARBODEN  |  June 21, 2006

Menino: Get help!

Tom: take a deep breath. Count to ten. Think serene thoughts.
Why you must get Boston a top cop from the outside world
By DAVID BERNSTEIN  |  May 17, 2006

Spy vs. Spy

When Washington bigwigs want to dispose of a particularly nasty piece of trash, they break the news late in the day Friday.
Porter Goss was a bad guy, but General Hayden is the wrong guy. Plus, the Moussaoui verdict and replacing boston’s top cop.
By EDITORIAL  |  May 11, 2006

O’Toole Go Bragh

The carnage of the past week and a half has made a gruesome mockery of the Boston Police Department.
What part of “worst homicide squad in America” don’t they understand?
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  May 10, 2006

The overtime game

The problems haunting the Boston Police Department’s homicide unit — low arrest rates, cases rejected by juries, and exonerations of wrongfully convicted men — did not occur in a vacuum.
A successful lawsuit shows how Boston’s homicide detectives have gamed the system to line their own pockets
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  May 04, 2006


Radio days

It’s a Thursday morning, and the AM airwaves are buzzing with talk of State Representative Marie St. Fleur’s abortive bid to become lieutenant governor of Massachusetts.
Dianne Wilkerson’s new gig
By ADAM REILLY  |  February 09, 2006

Boston homicides

Surprise: local law-enforcement officials want to lay the blame for unsolved homicides on uncooperative witnesses.
BPD, DA agree: We’re doing fine!
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 05, 2006
Marquis Boseman, 18, killed May 11, 2004

No end in sight

Two years ago, Boston’s law-enforcement leaders were crowing over their defeat of the homicide problem. In retrospect, it was Boston’s version of Bush’s “Mission Accomplished.”
Boston’s murder rate has doubled in five years — and may not have peaked yet. Here’s why.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 04, 2006

Cease and desist

By CHRIS FARAONE  |  January 01, 1900